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Arts & Culture

Three-time All-Star Ken Griffey Sr. Headlines April 3 Conference at MTSU


He was a major cog in “The Big Red Machine” of the 1970s, contributing to two World Series victories for the Cincinnati Reds.

Ken Griffey Sr. will deliver the luncheon address Friday, April 3, at the 20th annual Baseball in Literature and Culture Conference. The luncheon will begin at noon in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.

Griffey’s talk will start at 12:45 p.m. with time for questions and answers after the speech. He will sign copies of his book, “Big Red: Baseball, Fatherhood and My Life in the Big Red Machine,” in the James Union Building lobby after his address.

In a major league career lasting from 1973 to 1991, the outfielder slugged 192 home runs, drove in 859 runs and compiled a career batting average of .296.

With the Reds, he won World Series championship rings in 1975 and 1976 and was named to the National League All-Star team in 1976, 1977 and 1980. Griffey Sr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1980 All-Star Game.

Griffey Sr. also played for the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners. At the end of his second stint with the Reds in 1990, he became one of the few major league players ever to share a roster with his son. Ken Griffey Jr. surpassed his father’s statistics, belting 630 homers and batting in 1,836 runs while amassing a .284 average in a 22-year career.

The Baseball in Literature and Culture Conference gives scholars and literate baseball fans an opportunity to exchange viewpoints and celebrate the national pastime’s contributions to and inspiration of novels, nonfiction, poetry and popular culture.

This year’s presentation topics include catcher and World War II spy Moe Berg; Du Pont company baseball in Old Hickory, Tennessee; imposing the Genesis narrative onto baseball; the American baseball card and youth culture; and the healing power of baseball in post-9/11 New York.

Breakfast will be served in the Tennessee Room from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m., followed by author Sarah Bunting’s keynote address. The founder of www.tomatonation.com will speak at 8:15 a.m.

A longtime conference attendee, Bunting has written online for www.msnbc.com and www.soapnet.com, among other sites. She also has written for Seventeen and New York magazines and is co-author with Wing Chun of the book “Television without Pity: 752 Things We Love to Hate (and Hate to Love) about TV.”

Registration is $80, which includes breakfast, lunch and the conference program. For more information, contact Dr. Ron Kates, professor of English, at ron.kates@mtsu.edu; Dr. Warren Tormey, professor of English, at warren.tormey@mtsu.edu; or Connie Huddleston, events coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts at connie.huddleston@mtsu.edu.